Rafael Montero Stats
- Height / Weight
- 6' 0" / 185 lbs.
- Date of Birth (Age)
- 10/17/1990 (31)
Rafael Montero Season Stats
Last 10 Games
Rafael Montero News
The Houston Astros placed relief pitcher Rafael Montero (shoulder) on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday. The move is retroactive to August 9. Montero is dealing with shoulder soreness. He was forced to leave his most recent start against the Minnesota Twins on August 8 when the injury first came up. The Astros activated fellow reliever Pedro Baez (shoulder) in a corresponding move. Montero was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners prior to the trade deadline. Montero has made four appearances with the Astros so far and has allowed just three hits, two walks and one unearned run over six innings.
The Seattle Mariners have traded pitchers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero to the Houston Astros in exchange for infielder Abraham Toro and right-hander Joe Smith. The Astros upgrade their bullpen by acquiring Seattle's top reliever in Graveman. He has been fantastic this season, posting a 0.82 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 34:8 K:BB across 33 innings in 2021. Graveman will lose some fantasy value, as he's expected to serve as the top setup man for Astros closer to Ryan Pressly. Montero was designated for assignment. Toro is under team control for four more seasons and will have a chance to become the Mariners starting third baseman of the future. The 24-year-old has slashed .211/.287/.385 across 122 plate appearances in 2021. With the Mariners moving on from Graveman, Paul Sewald will likely step into the closer's role and is the reliever to roster in Seattle's bullpen. Sewald owns a 2.30 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a 54:12 K:BB across 31 1/3 innings in his resurgent 2021 season.
The Seattle Mariners activated right-hander Casey Sadler (shoulder) from the 60-day injured list on Friday and designated right-hander Rafael Montero for assignment in a corresponding move. Sadler has been out since May with right shoulder inflammation, but he had a nice 1.64 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, albeit in just 11 innings, before his injury earlier this year. Montero opened 2021 as Seattle's closer and picked up seven saves, but he wasn't effective at all with a 7.27 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in 43 1/3 frames. Kendall Graveman is the one to own for saves at the back end of the M's bullpen, but Paul Sewald has transformed himself and has also become an option for fantasy managers in deeper leagues.
In 2020, Rafael Montero compiled a 4.08 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, a perfect eight saves in eight opportunities, and 19 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings pitched with Texas. Now with Seattle after an early-December trade, managers who plan to draft Montero as a closer at his current ADP of 188 would be rolling the dice. First, it is not certain Montero will immediately slide into Seattle's closer role. The Mariners may look to other internal options (e.g., Yohan Ramirez), or they may make additional off-season moves to fortify a bullpen that was among the worst in the American League in 2020. Secondly, Montero's 2020 numbers show signs of regression. Despite his 4.08 ERA, Montero compiled an xERA of 4.61 and an xFIP of 4.85. He also saw a 4% decline in his 2019 K%. Furthermore, Montero yielded a 44.4% overall hard-hit rate, a 15.6% overall barrel rate, and an overall 23-degree launch angle. These are numbers that were well below 2020 MLB averages and don't equate to those of a lock-down closer. While Montero could generate save totals in the mid-20s, to go with an ERA near 4.25 and a strikeout per inning, his fantasy value is almost entirely dependent upon his attaining and retaining the Mariners' closer role. With bullpen competition and regression likely, this is a risky proposition. Managers should be cautious and potentially look elsewhere in the middle rounds of drafts for more sound closer options.